Packwood Lake Trail

Packwood, Washington

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Sometimes, even the most gung-ho hiker needs a break—just a gentle walk through the woods, followed by a leisurely swim and a relaxing afternoon alongside a cool lake. Packwood Lake is the perfect place to practice this laid-back trail lifestyle, especially late in the spring and early in the autumn when the hordes of summer hikers have gone home, freeing up the lake’s popular campsites and excellent fishing opportunities. The Packwood Lake Trail weaves through old second-growth forests for 4 miles along a deep river valley, with views limited to the trees around you. As the trail nears this broad, low-elevation lake, you’ll find peek-a-boo views up the valley to the jagged crest of Goat Rocks. At 4.6 miles, the trail reaches an old ranger station at the west end of the lake (2900 feet). A wide wooden bridge crosses the outlet stream. You’ll pass the campground just after crossing the bridge. The trail continues around the end of the lake and leads east along the north side of the mile-long lake. Many campsites can be found along the lake, with great views up onto the Goat Rocks peaks.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

Sometimes, even the most gung-ho hiker needs a break—just a gentle walk through the woods, followed by a leisurely swim and a relaxing afternoon alongside a cool lake. Packwood Lake is the perfect place to practice this laid-back trail lifestyle, especially late in the spring and early in the autumn when the hordes of summer hikers have gone home, freeing up the lake’s popular campsites and excellent fishing opportunities.

The Packwood Lake Trail weaves through old second-growth forests for 4 miles along a deep river valley, with views limited to the trees around you. As the trail nears this broad, low-elevation lake, you’ll find peek-a-boo views up the valley to the jagged crest of Goat Rocks. At 4.6 miles, the trail reaches an old ranger station at the west end of the lake (2900 feet). A wide wooden bridge crosses the outlet stream. You’ll pass the campground just after crossing the bridge. The trail continues around the end of the lake and leads east along the north side of the mile-long lake. Many campsites can be found along the lake, with great views up onto the Goat Rocks peaks.

© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Packwood
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: Late May-November
Trailhead Elevation: 2,600 feet
Top Elevation: 3,200 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: USFS Cowlitz Valley Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 302 Packwood
Driving Directions: Directions to Packwood Lake Trail

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Apr 2018